Philip Giraldi : Old Testament Armed Forces

Philip Giraldi : Old Testament Armed Forces


Religious zealotry runs rampant in the U.S. military,and among those wishing to deploy it.

That the United States military appears to be increasingly a professional force that has few links to the general population is by itself disturbing. That it also might be developing a warrior class ethos that includes a certain kind of evangelical religiosity as a key element only serves to increase the distance between soldiers and most civilians, apart from the constitutional issues that it raises.


by Philip Giraldi


US military negative effect of evangelicalsThe negative effects of evangelical Christianity in the U.S. military

The connection between America’s wars in the Middle East—and its wars more generally—with the more fundamentalist forms of Christianity in the United States is striking.

boykin_born again
Former General Jerry Boykin ( Fundamentalist)
Opinion polls suggest that the more religiously conservative one is, the more one will support overseas wars or even what many might describe as war crimes. Fully 60 percent of self-described evangelicals supported torturing suspected terrorists in 2009, for example. That is somewhat puzzling, as Christianity is, if anything, a religion of peace that only reluctantly embraced a “just war” concept that was deliberately and cautiously evolved to permit Christians—under very limited circumstances of imminent threat—to fight to defend themselves.

To be sure, some Christian conservatives who might be described as Armageddonists regard America’s Asian wars as part and parcel of the precursor events that will lead to the Second Coming of Christ, which they eagerly look forward to. Also, a non-interventionist friend of mine who comes from a religiously conservative background explained to me how the contradiction partly derives from the fact that many evangelical Christians hardly relate to the New Testament at all. While they can recite scripture and verse coming from the Old Testament, they are frequently only marginally conversant with the numerous episodes in the New Testament that attest to Jesus’s extolling the virtues of peacemaking and loving one’s neighbor. If true, that means that many evangelicals are much more imbued with the values of an eye-for-an-eye or smiting Philistines than they are with the Sermon on the Mount.

There has undeniably been pushback coming from some evangelical leaders as well as from many younger religious conservatives against America’s constant diet of God-anointed warfare, but given that those who describe themselves as evangelical Christians tend to disproportionately support America’s wars, it is perhaps no surprise to learn that fundamentalist viewpoints prevail in certain quarters in the military. There has indeed been considerable media reporting on the impact of evangelical Christians on the armed services, to include a bizarre account of US military sniper sights being inscribed with citations from the Bible, leading one critic to suggest that the soldiers were being issued “Jesus rifles.”

Jerry Boykin fundamentalist christianA prominent General, William Boykin, was until recently the best known Christian fundamentalist in the U.S. military. Boykin held prayer breakfasts when he commanded Delta Force and, when Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under George W. Bush, was widely criticized for appearing in churches and other public gatherings in his uniform. He would describe his personal war against Islam, claiming that “My God is bigger than yours,” possibly suggesting that size really does matter, at least in theological circles. He also called the Islamic God an “idol.” At some church gatherings Boykin would produce a photo taken in Mogadishu which, he claimed, included a mysterious dark shadow that he described as a “demonic presence,” adding that “spiritual enemies will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.” Boykin, who advocates “No Mosques in America,” is currently Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council, which lobbies the Pentagon to complain that there is a “war on Christianity” within the military.

Boykin was not unique. Several other generals and a number of additional senior officers have appeared at church sponsored events or made videos while in uniform, frequently extolling the religious nature of America’s wars in the Middle East. They were perhaps encouraged from the top, by born-again President George W. Bush’s overt religiosity and his description of Jesus Christ as his “favorite philosopher.” Be that as it may, the shock of 9/11 let the evangelical genie out of the bottle in anticipation of the conflict of civilizations that some Armageddonists were welcoming, with the Pentagon even livening up its daily Worldwide Intelligence Update by using biblical verses as captions for war images. Bush had himself initially described the global war on terror as a “crusade,” though he quickly regretted using the expression after being educated to the fact that many of Washington’s potential allies against terrorism were, in fact, Muslims.

The U.S. military, aware of the constitutional restraints on promoting any religion, generally attempts to rein in outward expressions of religiosity on the part of its officers, but the open defiance of those efforts has been increasing as fundamentalists become both more assertive and better represented at senior levels in the officer corps. Fully one-third of military chaplains are currently evangelicals and the percentage is increasing. Many fundamentalists assert that a good officer has to be “moral,” by which they mean “religious,” in the belief that it is impossible to be ethical without a relationship to God. As many of the evangelicals also believe they possess the absolute truth in terms of their own definitions of religiosity, there is little room for alternative viewpoints.

The soldiers who promote their faith dodge the military’s restrictions on their actions by claiming that they are only “evangelizing the unchurched,” not proselytizing.  When they hand out bibles to Afghans they describe it as providing “gifts.”  General David Petraeus, when head of the Central Command was well known for his strong commitment to “spiritual fitness” as a sine qua non for his officers, providing a top level sanction for including religion in one’s professional development. In 2007 Petraeus endorsed Christian rock concerts on military bases. A year later, senior Army chaplain William McCoy took the argument for spirituality one step further, explaining how the non-religious soldier, having no protection against sin, might cause the failure of his unit.   Petraeus blurbed McCoy’s book Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, recommending that it be in every backpack for those times when a soldier needs “spiritual energy.” A senior chaplain in Afghanistan also enthused about how leading by example produces positive results, with 85 percent of the 22 officers reporting to Petraeus engaging in “dynamic Bible study,” though one has to wonder if they might have been doing so to enhance their promotion prospects.

A notorious, long running dispute at the United States Air Force Academy over the proper role of “spirituality” has generally resulted in little or no change in the promotion of evangelical Christianity at many levels, a process aided and abetted by a series of Superintendents who were themselves fundamentalists. Even the Air Force football team was not immune, with a large banner in the locker room proclaiming “I am a Member of Team Jesus Christ.” Captain MeLinda Morton, an Air Force Lutheran chaplain who actually complained about the over the top proselytizing was initially ignored and then reassigned.

Why should all this be important, since it is surely up to the individual to decide what he or she does or does not believe? It matters for a number of reasons. Believers who do not create a firewall between their faith and their professional responsibilities, which for a soldier should include all Americans and not just the ones that think the same way he or she does, will inevitably favor coreligionists, particularly if it is being argued that religiosity is an essential ingredient for soldiering. Many Christian fundamentalists understandably believe that their first duty is to God, not necessarily to their country or to their fellow citizens, but they fail to see how such a view might be considered unacceptable in someone who chooses to work for the government.

Just how God before country works in the military context might best be illustrated by one aspect of the Air Force Academy’s struggle with proselytizing on campus. Groups of cadets had been gathering in commons rooms in dorms and libraries to have Bible study sessions. An understanding that public spaces at the academy were just that and the ad hoc use of a room by a group would discourage or prevent others from using it appeared to carry the day until the academy’s second in command, an evangelical Christian named Johnny Weida who had previously advised cadets that they were “accountable first to your God,” stated flatly that the practice would continue: “You wanna have a Bible study in a cadet TV room? No problem.”

The increase in highly visible religiosity among U.S. soldiers also has real life consequences by becoming a propaganda tool for groups like al-Qaeda and strengthening the widespread belief that Washington is actually mounting a new crusade against Muslim regimes. Efforts to have soldiers distribute Bibles in Afghanistan’s languages, encouraged by some military chaplains, have been noted by both the local and international media, a practice that runs counter to both military regulations and specific general orders for the Afghan theater of operations.

And then there is the strange tale of Pat Tillman, the National Football League player who volunteered for the Army after 9/11. Tillman, an Army ranger, was shot dead by his own comrades on a patrol in Afghanistan in April 2004, resulting in an elaborate military cover-up relating to his death. Tillman was apparently an outspoken non-believer and there is some evidence that he also had turned against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Credible speculation by both the Tillman family and also by former General Wesley Clark suggests that he was murdered, three bullet holes in his forehead indicating that he might have been shot by an M-16 at close range. His fellow soldiers also uncharacteristically burned his clothing and his body armor after he died, and Tillman’s personal diary went missing. A criminal investigation was requested but turned down by Army brass. When the family complained, the leading investigating officer Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich commented that they were venting because the Tillmans were all non-believers, saying “…if you are an atheist and you don’t believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt.”

Pat-Tillman-197041-1-402In 2002, Pat Tillman left a successful football career with the Arizona Cardinals to join the U.S. Army. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2004.

There is a cliché about soldiers, atheism, and fox holes which is probably as true or untrue as most clichés. That the United States military appears to be increasingly a professional force that has few links to the general population is by itself disturbing. That it also might be developing a warrior class ethos that includes a certain kind of evangelical religiosity as a key element only serves to increase the distance between soldiers and most civilians, apart from the constitutional issues that it raises.

My own exposure to holy war courtesy of the U.S. Army was somewhat different, but it was a draftee experience, long ago. In basic training back during Vietnam a chaplain who was, as I recall, both a Colonel and an unmistakable Irish Catholic came storming through our barracks spewing fire and brimstone. He delivered a pretty good impression of Pat O’Brien playing Father Francis Duffy of the Fighting 69th before he disappeared followed by a cloud of cigar smoke, growling something about “killing commies.” A couple of kids from Chicago followed in his wake crying out “Fatha, Fatha,” evidently in need of spiritual solace of some kind, but his pastoral visit was apparently over. Mission Accomplished.

Source : The American Conservative

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He is a former DIA and CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992 designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support.

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Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He is a former DIA and CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992 designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support. Since 1992 he consulted for a number of Fortune 500 corporate clients. Mr. Giraldi was awarded an MA and PhD from the University of London in European History and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish.


  1. Bravo, right on the money.   I couldn't write a better explanation of why I ditched "the church" premanently, many years ago, as this.


    "The Church" and  the teachings of Christ have about as much in common as the words "justice" and "just us" have in common.

    Most "Christians" might as well call themselves Jews…….. chosen, superior, self-righteous, arrogant fools  who are completely ignorant of the teachings of the man-God they claim to follow.  Read the Gospel of John, Chapter 8,  if you want to know what Christ thought of the Jews.

    Just don't do it on an empty stomache…….It ain't pretty.


  2. Excellent article Mr. Giraldi. The "evangelicals" you reference are not in fact evangelical anything. They are 'ziongelicals' and their unflinching dedication to apostasy and Israel first is undeniable.

    Now Gen. 'Jesus' Boykin. The man is straight up bat-crap insane. The man is straight up heretic. By orthodox theological standards of measuring heresy.

    Boykin and his ilk are not "Christian" nor do they 'know Christ'. Not the Christ of the New Testament. The 'ziongelicals' are infatuated with public displays of religiosity and hypocrisy. Jesus Himself likened idiots such as these as "whitened sepulchers filled with the unclean." Yeah I think that's about close enough. It's been a long time since seminary days. 


  3. Mr. Giraldi:  this is all well and good but it acomplished nothing concerning getting the truth to our soldiers wheather they be Christian or not.  The only way they are going to be turned around is if they are 'taught the truth' from the scriptures by knowledgable men.  Zionist Christians have turned the truth on its head…black now is white. 


    These men truly do not know Jesus Christ and have to be converted to understand how scripture was polluted and twisted making them believe in 'a delusion' (and no doubt this is a delusion sent to them by God because they love not the truth) they love the lies of the Zionist beast.  They have been neutered by lying pastors who told them Israel is the 'chosen people'.  It has been a planned and orchestrated event to destroy Americans who know the truth, Peaceful Moslems who know that Zionist Israel is the true enemy and Moslems are the only ones with any backbone to resist them. 


    Christianity has been subverted and infiltrated ever since Jesus Christ died on the cross.  Paul warned the new Gentile Christians that this was happening and said after his leaving that wolves would enter the church and spare none…these worlves are the Christian hypocrites, whores, false teachers, lyers and devils…like Hagee and the Pope who make friends with antichrist Israel.  Jesus branded them;  Evangelical Christian Zionists now have become followers of the False Prophet who leads them to worship antichrist Israel.  They yield themselves to false teachings and worship because they yield themselves to obey falsehoods.  


    False Gospel, false teachers, false prophets and the Zionist beast.  These falsehoods are reflected in the Image of the Beast, in the Nation of Israel thus making it a model of Idolatry of falsehoods to be followed or Image of or to the Beast.  Those who have politically and economicaly followed, promoted the Zionist cause from the Rothschilds to Obama and the Corporations are 'Worshiping the Beast'; and the 'Nation of Israel' is the embodyment of this beast containting all the filth that these Zionist Christians worship.  These 'Christians' have made themselves a stench to Jesus Christ and they worship the Beast and his Image Israel.  They will both fall into the pit they have dug for humanity and none will come to their aid.  God is not mocked and they will reap what they have sown. 


    But where are the teachers who will scream from the rooftop that they are destroying their own souls if they continue in their vain imaginations to promote the lie and falsehoods.  The Beast is Zionism, Judaism (the cult) the little horn antichrist (the 8th of the 7).  The False Prophet promotes them and the NWO agenda and He (the Vatican and Israel, 2 horns of nations states false religions or prophets) calls for them to be obeyed and worshiped.  Israel (the nation) is the Image 'the beast' made in 1948; Catholics and Protestants have promoted it and worshipped it.  IT!  Israel is build wholely on sand and a false foundation and will crumble into hell with the Zionist Christians who have suported it.   The Palestinians know who these Zionist (Christians and Judaics) are and what they are. 


    There are many Radical Moslems ( like radical Zionist Christians) who subvert true Moslems and work for money (Mercs)  and are insanely possed by demons of murder, antichrists all.  These have aligned with the Zionist Beast, the False Prophet for money under the auspices of the US Government.  There are sincere and good Moslems and that is why God said in the last days there would be a highway from Egypt into Assyria.  Israel we know will be removed from the earth by fire, it is Sodom and Egypt the place where the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.  You Evangelicals have a one way ticked to hell and you are the ones who promote death and hell. 


    Unless you repent you all shall perish.  This is why they hate the 'Truth' Jesus Christ because they love darkness and refuse to come to the light lest their wicked deeds be reproved.  They are for WAR, not peace and they are NOT nor will they ever be peace makers.  


    These are those who will behead and murder thinking they do God service.   These are those who promise nations 'democratic' freedom but make them 2 fold the child of hell America and Europe are.   The belly of the beast is the square mile in London…  Only the 'Word' understood, a pure gospel will help men in these last days because most men are supplanters looking for gain in their quarter. 


    Put no trust in man.  Brother will supplant brother in these last days… and these are those days, the true end will come without any warning!  Then men will truly know the living God and fear him; mockers your mouths will be shut forever!  Count on it!

  4. The US Air Force fired a cruise missile at the Pentagon on 9/11 to wipe out the US Navy's UFO intelligence unit, CNO-IP, because mock Jews (they are NOT Christians) in the USAF have been brainwashed to believe that Extraterrestrials are "demons from Hell" and cannot allow the truth to interfere with their madness.

  5. Excellent insights.  The Prince of Peace has sadly been cast aside – in favor of those who evangelize for wars.  This Zionist divide-and-conquer strategy has successfully pitted Christians against Muslims, but is increasingly being recognized for the Satanic plot that it is.

  6. Zionists have used Christianity as a tool to destroy all countries, religions, civilizations and cultures and people have got trapped and they have to wake up.   Many Christians have got so fed up with the corruption of the war mongering Christian Church and reacted by leaving Christianity (which is not the answer) instead of leaving the Zionist Christian Church.  Christian soldiers need to know that killing Muslims and/or others is not what Jesus Christ taught and harming humanity is not going to save them.  Jesus Christ said to seek the truth and the truth will set us free and that is what all the misguided people need to do.  We each need to take responsibility to do just that while making the presence of God and Jesus Christ stronger in our hearts and lives.  


    Thanks to Dr Phil Giraldi for this article and all those who wrote some excellent posts here.   

  7. Not just the American army. In SA, the Officer Candidates were all vetted in the first 6 months for "beliefs".

    Primarily, anyone who will accept, unquestioningly the tenets of their religion, will accept any rationale for atrocity.

    Officers especially must not question the morality of the orders, or the logic behind them.

    It also "cleanses" any action, doesn't matter if you rape and murder children. No matter what you do, if you are "truly sorry" God will forgive you and all will be well.

    Yes it is totally sick, but that is what "Christianity" teaches.

  8. By the way, Mr Giraldi, excellent article but you failed to mention DOMINIONISM, which predominates among the USAF's fake Christian, mock Jew lunatics. They want to overthrow the US Government and replace it with a theocratic state, not unlike those stone-age countries Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    • …and they might have already succeeded in that ambition. In fact that is quite possibly what the coup of 9/11/2001 was all about, since when the US Constitution has been shredded, just like Magna Carta in Britain (although Magna Carta was shredded in 1656 by Oliver Cromwell, when he allowed Jews back into England).

  9. When a cadre of military leaders comes to your town, who ya gonna call? 

    BS busters!


    Six military leaders were invited to speak in a town nearby.  The chaplain-guy acknowledged that military returning from Iraq & Afghanistan were "morally damaged" by their experience, but refused to discuss the moral obligations of each and every member of the military, GIVEN that US force is a professional, not drafted force. (I do not call the military "volunteer" because they are as much volunteers as someone who applies for a job at WalMart is a volunteer:  they are employees.  Period.  


    Nuremberg principles made two innovations:

    1. a state's leader could be convicted of crimes against humanity [but only if Jews are the victims.  FDR, Churchill, Eisenhower were not, apparently, war criminals for planning & carrying out firebombing of civilian targets in 131 German cities & 60 Japanese cities].


    2. "I was just following orders" is NOT a defense for soldiers.


    Thus, soldiers in, i.e. Fallujah who attacked innocent civilians, or who used proscribed weaponry such as Depleted Uranium, would — and should — under Nuremberg principles, be tried for war crimes, and would have no defense, if Nuremberg principles were followed.



    We need to tell people who are "defending our freedoms" in illicit ways, that we are ashamed of them.



  10. Thanks for this article, brother. There is a great deal of wisdom in it. Having said that, I don't think the solution is for soldiers to create a 'firewall' between their professional responsibilities and their faith.

    I would suggest that it was this very 'firewall' that was the problem in the Lutheranism of Hitler's Germany! In Lutheran terms is was the strict division between the two kingdoms – the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God that allowed Christians to serve the Fuhrer unquestioningly without it impacting their faith!

    What we need, in my view, is to question any form of Christianity that embraces militarism and imperialism! This isn't Christianity. It is heresy!

  11. Now, there is so much ABSOLUTE TRUTH that can be stated here. There's not enough time nor space to comprehensively cover the phrase "OLD TESTAMENT ARMED FORCES." 


    In Abrahamic faith tradition of Judaism, Christianity, and Al-Islam, there's a common ground testament about satan, how satan rebelled, and how satan committed himself to attack human beings from all angles inorder to disconnect human beings from belief in THE G-D with subduction into living by man's perverted and fallible understanding rather than to discipline life in accepting to live by the WORD OF THE G-D in all things, with all the heart, all the mind,and with all might. Satan found willing host in Hebrews who constantly rejected Prophetic led guidance in arrogant conceited rebellion.


    Joshua was a rebel who led Jews to violate DIVINE PROHIBITIONS IN COMMANDMENTS TO MOSES. They are led by an unquenchable love for and greed for material accumulations and political dominance. They have the most perverted and arrogant self conceit ever. THEY TRULY ARE "WORLD PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE" – PERIOD!